Dining out is always going to be a part of human culture – who doesn’t love eating at the finest restaurants where only the best food and service is given? It makes you feel like a king or queen but unfortunately it may also require you to have the coffers of a king to pay the bill as well.
It doesn’t always have to be that way though. There are ways to get around the tab and be able to enjoy lower prices. Many people are people are paying full price when the restaurant itself is offering discounts and promos that nobody pays attention to.
Not sure how to get in touch with these different promos and discounts? Take a hint from Annie Korzen’s new book for foodies, “Bargain Junkie: Living the Good Life on the Cheap”. Remember Annie Korzen, who played Doris Klompus on Seinfeld?
Here’s a quick jump at some of the best tips this side of the world to get more affordable prices when dining out:
1. Restaurants.com – if the website sounds familiar then you should make it a point to register right now. Many restaurants sell their $25 or $30 for much lower prices on occasion and Restaurants is a good place to find them. You can even find a $25 on sale for just $2!
You’ll find $50 going for sale at $20 or so. This is often done when the particular item is not selling well and they want to offer it for cheap just to get more attention or when it’s they are trying to promote a new product.
2. Groupon – Groupon is a little more wide-versed because it will offer discount coupons on just about everything, not just restaurants. You may find 30% discount coupons for a movie ticket or at a particular spa. Luckily, you can set the notification settings to send you daily offers and updates. If you find one you like, buy it. If you don’t, just delete.
Groupon isn’t just about discounts at particular restaurants though. Sometimes they’ll offer coupons on particular menu items so if you just want to buy one thing at your favorite café or diner then this is the place to lounge at.
Never leave home without a coupon. That should be a rule of thumb and when you’re in doubt, check Groupon for a nice deal. It may not always be the restaurant you like but it’s always nicer to eat out for less.
3. Blackboardeats.com – the coupons offered here are just for New York and Los Angeles but they do offer a lot of discount coupons and even stubs for free entrees or appetizers. They offer really good deals too – you may even find discounts amounting up to 75% from time to time.
BlackboardsEat might only be in LA and NYC but if you are visiting these areas or if you already live there then you may already have some of the best discount deals available. This focus on a smaller area means you are more likely to find restaurant discounts in places you actually eat in instead of restaurants that don’t even have a location in your state.
4. ChowHound.com – not all websites are for discounts and promo coupons. Take ChowHound for example. It’s a website set specifically for foodies to talk about their favorite food, restaurants, and deals. There’s even a section that covers menu items costing less than $5.
Of course you shouldn’t expect fine dining items listed here but you’d be surprised at the amazing discoveries some foodies make. They are the people dedicating on finding the best, the most affordable, and the most exquisite dishes on the planet so you’re bound to learn a thing or two here, especially when it comes to finding affordable restaurants and menu items.
5. Bring Your Own Beverage – no, that’s not a website. That’s a simple instruction (BYOB) and it might help you save a couple of bucks when dining out. Most restaurants overcharge their drinks, particularly wine, by up to 400%.
Try and call your usual restaurant and ask them about their corkage fee. Most often than not it will be a whole lot cheaper than having to buy a bottle from their menu. You can save a lot on drinks, giving you more cash to splurge on the main course.
There are many more secrets, such as dining out during the happy hours or taking advantage of the establishment’s daily specials which are often much cheaper than the rest of the menu items. Eating out during lunch also affects a person’s eating habits, meaning you’ll be less likely to order wine.
Eating out can be expensive but when you’re on the go or when you don’t have time to cook at home, it becomes a necessity. With these simple tips you’ll be dining affordably in no time.